Pope Francis mourns deaths from protests in Iraq, asks they be heard

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Pope Francis rode around St. Peter's Square on the popemobile to see as many pilgrims as possible.

Before concluding the General Audience, he asked for calmness in Iraq to help resolve their problems.

Since the beginning of October, 250 people have been killed during protests against government corruption. The protesters also ask for potable water, health care and access to education.

“As I express my condolences for the victims and closeness to their families and wounded, I urge authorities to listen to the cry of the population that asks for a dignified and peaceful life. I urge all Iraqis, with the support of the international community, to pursue the path of dialogue and reconciliation and to seek the right solutions to challenges and problems of their country.”

In his weekly catechesis, the Pope recalled that the book of the Acts of the Apostles tells the arrival of Christianity in Philippi, the first city in Europe.

The first convert was a woman named Lydia. Then, it was the jailer who watched over Paul and Silas. Both opened their homes to the apostles.

“Let us ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to God and welcoming to others, with a bold faith capable of breaking the chains that oppress us and others.”

While the pope was talking, it began raining, prompting him to shorten his speech and finish early. Minutes later, the sun came back out. The storm did not ruin the party.

Javier Martínez-Brocal
Translated: Carina Anderson

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